Happy New Year! It’s 2019, and it feels like a beautiful blank slate stretching out before us. January brings with it hope and focus and hopefully a reenergized spirit after some time off over the holidays. So how can we capitalize on this new found energy?
Below you’ll find 5 of my favorite resolutions from five incredibly talented and successful business people for last year (2018). These are sourced from a larger list collated by Business Insider, and you can find that here.
Whether you want to commit to the same resolutions as those listed below, or you want to create your own, make it a priority and get it done before the month’s end and before the everyday gets in the way once again.
(PS: I’ve worked with companies that come together in a large group of employees and brains storms and then democratically decide which 1-5 resolutions will be the company focus for the year. This approach ensures everyone understands the values of the company and works towards the same goals. It can be a wonderful way to motivate your staff and start the year off on a high!)
1. Deloitte US CEO Cathy Engelbert wants to schedule time for 'small moments of recovery'
"In almost every conversation in any setting at Deloitte, I remind our people to take care of themselves first and foremost.
"For myself, in 2018, I am also prioritizing well-being through 'small moments of recovery.'
"I've already started by adding reminders to my calendar — I call them 'SMORes' for short — reminders to reset and refocus. And I have found that when others see the SMOR entry on the calendar, it opens up a great dialogue to remind others to focus on their own well-being.
"Burnout is real, and it's essential to take the time to prioritize your well-being. Initially, it can feel selfish, but when you take time for yourself you will have more to give others. Not less."
2. TheSkimm founders Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin want to fail faster and fail harder
"As our team continues to grow, we have the ability to iterate much more quickly. To encourage this, we celebrate when we fail.
"In 2017, we introduced a new tradition at our Friday Sip 'n Skimms, where one person on the team gets to wear our 'Fail So Hard' hat and spotlight a project that did not go as planned.
"As a team we celebrate the fact that they tried and failed at something in an effort to propel the business forward. If some of our ideas are not failing, we know we're not taking big enough chances."
3. Former Apple and Pepsi CEO and current CMO of RxAdvance John Sculley wants to work on noble causes
"Here's what I think about as I contemplate 2018: 'Don't retire, rewire.'
"I used to think that technology was so cool because for the past 35 years it has been the great enabling tool for humanity. What's different now is, even as technology improves exponentially, at the same time it's becoming increasingly invisible and commoditizing at an accelerating rate.
"Ultimately, the only innovation differentiation will be 'domain expertise solutions' that work smartly at a very granular level and are powered by better and cheaper technologies.
"A century ago the fractional horsepower electric motor was an amazing technological innovation. Today it is just a commodity technology that gets its electric power from a utility service.
"Having a 'noble cause' purpose for innovation will be even more important in 2018 than before. 'Noble causes' create context and purpose that can be inspiring to both employees and customers.
"The obstacles to spectacular innovation are almost entirely a result of bureaucratic cultures that are empowered to say 'no.' There are no limits to continued technological breakthroughs.
"The most brilliant innovators look at the same facts available to the rest of us, but they will interpret these facts differently, seeing even better possibilities.
"The most important insights are typically those that embrace a 'noble cause.'"
4. Muse CEO and founder Kathryn Minshew wants to focus on getting the right things done
"My New Year's resolution is to work on practicing Essentialism: the pursuit of doing less, but better. In other words, it's not about getting more done but getting the right things done."
"I read Greg McKeown's book "Essentialism" this year and am focusing 2018 on putting those ideas into practice.
"At The Muse, this means zeroing in on our mission of making work more human and making sure everything we do as a company supports the goal of helping individuals find the right fit and alignment with their roles, companies, and career paths.
"In my personal life, it means less saying 'yes' to lots of random things and more focus on the relationships and activities that matter most!"
5. Bestselling author and podcast host Tim Ferris also forgoes New Year's resolutions and opts instead for year-end reviews
"This means I go through my calendar from the previous year week-by-week and I make two lists. This is a straightforward 80-20 analysis, but it applies to emotional states.
"So on one list I note the 20% of activities, people, relationships, etc. that produced 80% or more of my peak, positive emotional states — moments of joy, moments of elation, etc.
"Then in the second list, I compile the 20% of relationships, activities, etc. that created 80% or more of my peak negative states.
"And it doesn't have to be exactly 80-20, but it's a useful heuristic for putting together an analysis of the factors in your calendar — not hypothetical — but actually from the last year that created a disproportionate amount of peak positive states or peak negative states.
"I'm looking not only at big events but weekly routines.
"And I noticed, for instance, in a yearly review perhaps two years ago that morning group exercise — whether that's a private exercise session or some type of class — had a high correlation to elevated well-being (self-reported well-being) for that week. So that's something that I then doubled down on in the years following.
"But I don't take New Year's Eve and the few days leading up to New Year's to set New Year's resolutions. I take that time to do a previous year's review, where I very literally go through my iCal week by week. And I look at everything.
"And this seems like it would take a long time, but it really only takes perhaps a half hour, which is time very, very well spent."
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